Stories of Struggle and Success in Our Schools

We are parents, teachers, students and community members with stories to tell. We want to rise above the politics and news headlines and talk about what’s working and what needs to improve for Chicago’s kids.

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Webster Elementary’s Khalid Oluewu

Chicago Public Schools graduate Khalid Oluewu, now principal of Webster Elementary in North Lawndale, likes to offer his own story as living proof of what is possible for his own students. Growing up in a low-income, Nigerian-American, single-parent home in Uptown, Oluewu learned responsibility very young. As a student at Arai Middle School (now Uplift High School), Oluewu got his…

How One Cooking Teacher Opens up a World of Opportunities for Students With Disabilities

This piece was originally posted by Adeshina Emmanuel at Chalkbeat Chicago. Growing up with dyslexia, Athenia Travis had to master other ways of learning at Chicago Public Schools. Now the Golden Apple-award nominee helps many of her culinary arts pupils do the same at Southside Occupational Academy, where students with special needs prepare for life after high school “At one…

What Can NYC’s Specialized Schools Learn From Chicago? Getting Beyond SHSAT Prep.

While New Yorkers debate the merits of scrapping the long-used SHSAT as the gatekeeper for entry to the crown jewels of the city’s high schools, there’s another way to get at the root problem of too many underprepared elementary students, especially in Black and Latinx communities. It’s working in Chicago. I am well aware that transplanting a bright idea that…